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Audio: XM Satellite Radio reception in Model S

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by efusco, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. rbmartin

    rbmartin Model S Sig. 517

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    I agree, XM quality is pretty lousy. Not just in the Tesla but in other cars also. It's fine if you just want to have some music on in the background or listen to news. If I really want to listen to music I stream from my phone.

    I'm also becoming a fan of Slacker in the car. Much better audio quality than XM.
     
  2. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    When out of range of the urban repeaters, the SirusXM signal is essentially line of sight to the satellite. The satellites are in geosynchronous orbit over the equator. I don't have the calculations nearby, but in Florida, the elevation angle above the horizon should be about 50˚ or so, so you would have to be under an overpass or behind a tree or tall bush the south of you. This time of year (low sun angle), if you are in the sun mid-day, you have a very good chance of getting the SirusXM signal. In Seattle, the elevation angle is about 30˚ and at Eureka, Nunavut, Canada, the elevation angle is only a couple of degrees above the horizon. Of course the SirusXM satellite antenna beam pattern doesn't cover Eureka and you can't drive to Eureka...
     
  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Ahem, that's exactly why it's a problem around town and Florida does have a few palm trees dotted around.. Over my first 6 days now I've hit several areas where the signal drops. Note that Sirius and XM use different broadcast satellites.
     
  4. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Sirius and XM use different satellites, but both are geosynchronous satellites over the equator. They just have different locations in longitude some degrees apart east-west.
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Sirius satellites are geosynchronous but XM satellites are geostationary. Take a look here: Satellite-Radio-in-Florida
     
  6. Joel

    Joel Active Member

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    I activated Sirius/XM in my Model S (I have the Pano roof). The reception is great. I have not dropped the signal after one week of use. However, my Sirus/XM does not pull album art (it does pull album art for FM, Slacker, Bluetooth iPhone, etc.). Does anyone else have this problem?
     
  7. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    Are there any sirius/XM radios that display album art? I wonder if that data is even transmitted...I have no idea.
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    The artist and title of the track is sent, but so many stations send over jibberish with it like the hosts twitter handle and such
     
  9. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    The Model S gets the album artwork by looking up the album/track text that is sent with the audio and fetching it via its own 3G connection (important to understand AnOutsider's comment above).
     
  10. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    Awesome feature. I suppose it is possible then, provided there is enough metadata sent to distinguish song/artist of similar name.
     
  11. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #31 Cottonwood, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
    Thanks for the info. I stand corrected. That design, used by Sirius, of a constellation of geosynchronous satellites in highly elliptical orbits was first used by the Russians to get good elevation angles to northern Russia.

    In a previous life, I did satellite link budgets for a living. From looking at the Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) plot, which measures the transmit power to each area, you can see that Florida is about 59-62 dBW, and Colorado is 65-66 dBW. That typical 5 dB difference in power to the receiver is HUGE for a satellite system near threshold. In fact, I have more to gain in Colorado from the higher elevations that the Sirius satellites give, than Florida, but I have no complaints with XM here. The elevations from Colorado are probably about 10˚ lower than Florida for the XM satellites. Therefore, it seems that the XM design of the satellite antenna pattern just took a little too much away from south Texas, the Gulf Coast, and Florida, making the incorrect assumption that the better elevation angles there would compensate the weaker signal.

    Remember that the Sirius signal structure and receiver are different than the XM signal structure and receiver, even though they are one company now. Unless Telsa has a dual Sirius/XM receiver in the Model S, changing from Sirius to XM will take different, replacement hardware.
     
  12. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    ^^^ That's why I am some others were lobbying for Sirius and not XM. Sadly we failed, but I guess we got the compensation of internet radio.
     
  13. ClearwaterBchSteve

    ClearwaterBchSteve P445 / VIN 1794

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    If you are satisfied with the sound of XM in your current vehicle, the sound in the Model S will likely be similar to your ears. The sound studio package adds much more than XM capability (more speakers, subwoofer, better and more powerful amplifiers, etc.) so there are plenty of reasons to go for it. I agree with the others here that XM / Sirius audio is heavily compressed and the quality has been getting worse, not better over time. More channels means more compression which introduces artifacts into the music that can be very noticeable. Likely FM radio and music played from phones, internal or external storage will sound better than XM. Good ole CD's sound better to me than any compressed music-especially on a quality system but we get no CD player in the S. High bit rate digital files - and lossless compression like FLAC is the best option for the audiophiles among us. Still no confirmation that the S will play FLAC yet-I'm hopeful.
     
  14. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    Question for people who have used XM in the Model S, if you play a music channel, does it display song, artist, and cover-art?

    I was in a test drive last night and we had the XM Watercolors channel 66 on, but I don't remember seeing cover-art, just a musical note.

    Forgot to ask the Tesla co-pilot about it, but I always thought Tesla was using some clever real-time cover-art finder algorithm.
     
  15. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Song and artist, yes. Cover-art, no.
     
  16. Dogface

    Dogface Model S Signature #405

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    This is for those of you looking to activate your Sirius/XM subscription after the free trial ends. I had some UI related difficulty activating my XM subscription for my MS. Perhaps it was operator error, but I doubt I will be the only one experiencing this issue.

    Once the free trial is over, only channel 0 and channel 1 are presented on the UI. The toll-free number shows on Channel 1 and the Radio ID (specific to your car and needed for activation) is displayed only Channel 0. They should rethink grouping the two together, and Tesla should provide some documentation with the Sirius/XM radio ID for each car. My problem was with the app UI because it would not let me go to Channel 0 (grayed out), so I could not tell Sirius/XM my radio ID. Additionally, they had no record of my VIN from Tesla so could not find it for me. I was at a loss. Later I figured out I could navigate to Channel 0 through the steering wheel controls. That way I got the ID and was able to activate. The quality seems fine, although I encounter a lot of dead spots, and like mentioned above, there is no cover art.
     
  17. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I had a similar issue, but it had something to do with being on my phone via the Blue-tooth at the same time. Once I disconnected bluetooth I could change channels and didn't even have to drop my call. It was an annoying and frustrating PITA. They also couldn't find my XM radio with my VIN as they usually can and I couldn't set up the subscription online with my radio number...had to be done via phone.

    To update my own first post. The reception is quite good. I have one area of trees where my signal gets blocked briefly, but other trees that used to block my XM in my Prius don't affect the Model S at all. Of course buildings and things to the South will block the signal.
     
  18. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    I moved my lifetime subscription from my Plug in Prius to the Model S tonight, wasn't easy, as they really don't want to let you move a lifetime subscription from one vehicle to another (they claim once its moved to a vehicle it cannot be moved). I convinced them to do it, because they never told me about this until AFTER I had moved my Sirius subscription from my PNP2 to the XM radio in the Plug in Prius. They charged me $100 that time to change the "platform" from Sirius to XM, and add get the same channel package I had (which included Howard Stern), then they charge you $75 one time fee to move the subscription... anyway, it works, and even inside my garage I am getting 3 bars reception, probably from a ground station repeater. Doesn't look like Tesla has any kind of integration with the XM Traffic Nav data though, which I had witrh the Plug in Prius. Doesn't matter much, as there is always traffic on my way to work anyway :(
     
  19. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    They should at least display an image for each of the stations, instead of the musical note. There is image art for each XM station in the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

    image.jpg
     

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